Mobile, AL - The Mississippi Braves broke a long-standing tie in the ninth inning when Gustavo Nunez hit a bases loaded ground ball to second, and the M-Braves took down the Mobile BayBears 4-3 on Thursday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.
With the game tied 3-3 since the third inning, Braeden Schlehuber, Cedric Hunter and Kyle Wren clubbed three straight singles to load the bases. Nunez rolled a ball to second base, but Gerson Montilla kicked it away and only got the force at second, bringing in the winning run from third.
The go-ahead run came in only after Ryne Harper (8-5) kept the game tied in relief, entering the game with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth to slam the door on a possible BayBears rally. He struck out Todd Glaesmann and got Tom Belza to fly to center field to end the rally and keep the contest tied 3-3.
The M-Braves (36-24; 75-54) and BayBears (33-25; 75-52) scored their first three runs early in the contest.
Mobile jumped on starter Mitch Atkins for three runs in the first inning. Argenis Diaz and Brandon Drury hit back-to-back one-out singles, setting up a Dustin Martin RBI single to take a lead. Evan Marzilli walked to load the bases and Montilla singled the second run home. Jon Griffin hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3-0 BayBears.
The Braves came back to tie it in the third off Mobile starter Archie Bradley. Kyle Wren ripped a double to center and Bradley lost his command, walking three straight to load the bases and force in a run. David Rohm grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Nunez, and Mycal Jones did the same to bring in the tying run in Kubitza.
Bradley finished the day after five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out six in the no-decision. Atkins also took a no decision, striking out seven while allowing three runs on six hits and two walks.
Ole Miss product RJ Hively (3-4) was stuck with the loss, giving up the final run over two relief innings for the BayBears.
With Jacksonville's 7-6 loss to Pensacola earlier in the night, the Mississippi Braves sit in sole possession of first place, a game up on the Suns and two up on Mobile with 10 left to play.
The final homestand of the regular season kicks off on Friday as the M-Braves host the Birmingham Barons for a five-game set, with first pitch in the opener slated for 7:00 PM CT from Trustmark Park. Right-hander Jason Hursh (11-6, 3.24) will take the ball for the Braves against Barons right-hander Tony Bucciferro (2-2, 6.45).
Listen live to Kyle Tait on the call beginning at 6:30 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB and online at MississippiBraves.com.
Mississippi Braves (36-24; 75-54) 4 R 9 H 1 E
Mobile BayBears (33-25; 75-52) 3 R 8 H 0 E
W - Harper (8-5)
L - Hively (3-4)
Time - 3:11
Attendance - 697